There are many times we hear that, as writers, we need to build our audience, or build our “tribe,” as it’s often called. And there are many ways to do that. In this article, I’ll talk you through my success in building my email list of thriller readers by use of a giveaway contest. This is not an article about giving away your first book in series for free, this is about contests.
And before you stop reading, you might want to take a look at this:
Hopefully, it is painfully obvious that my giveaway contest started on that giant spike in email subscribers. I had been attracting 10, 20, or 30 subscribers a day via other methods, but when I created a valid, highly targeted giveaway contest, my email subscribers spiked.
So, the results are real.
And, this contest was just getting started when this screenshot was taken. So what was I giving away? Here’s the contest:
I was only interested in attracting readers of thriller novels. Since my book series, The Special Agent Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series, is in the thriller genre, I sought to attract new readers to the series. What you should take away from that statement is that I wasn’t just looking for a bunch of email addresses, warm bodies, or eyeballs. I was looking for readers. And not just readers, readers of thriller novels. Anyone can create a contest with a giveaway like “Win $100 cash,” or “Win an iPad.” But those types of prizes would appeal to anyone with a pulse. And I didn’t want just anyone, I wanted only readers who are interested in thrillers.
How to Create a Contest
Although you can create a contest on your own, there’s a benefit to using a tool to help you. Contest software tools create viral sharing. That means that once a person enters your contest, they are auto-emailed and offered a chance to obtain more entries into the contest by sharing the contest themselves. Anyone who subsequently signs up for the contest from that special link means the original entrant is given more chances to win the prize. And that’s why the people that sign up for your contest will share the contest with their friends.
For this purpose, I used a tool called Vyper. If you’re interested in creating a giveaway contest that gets virally shared, check it out.
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Protocol One: A Thriller